Cobblestone throat is a common type of chronic or recurring ear pain that occurs in some people. There are different types of cobblestones:
1) Acoustic cobble – These are small pieces of gravel, sand, silt or other debris that have been trapped inside your eardrum when it was injured during an accident.
They cause sound to reverberate through your head causing constant ringing in the ears.
2) Non-acoustic cobble – These are larger pieces of gravel, sand, silt or other debris that do not cause any symptoms but they block the flow of air into your ear canal which causes pressure to build up in the middle ear.
When this happens, the inner ear becomes inflamed and can become infected.
3) Mucous cobble – These are large pieces of mucus that stick to the outside of your eardrum.
They cause no symptoms but they block the flow of fluid into your ear canal which makes it difficult for you to hear well.
4) Bone marrow – These are small bits of bone that have lodged inside your eardrum and caused damage to the inner ear cartilage.
5) Debris – These are small pieces of hard, dry ear wax that have built up inside your ear causing negative pressure.
They usually cause no symptoms but they can also cause a mild build up of fluid causing a dull buzzing in your ears.
These different types of cobblestones can often be mixed together in your ear.
The best way to determine the exact type of cobblestones you have is by visiting an otolaryngologist. They will look inside your ear with an otoscope and then clean out your ear with specialized suction equipment. You will be able to tell them when you first start experiencing symptoms and how long you have had them for.
Once they have finished looking in your ear and cleaning it out, they will be able to tell you whether or not you have cobblestones and if so, what type. They will then be able to give you a specific treatment plan that is designed to completely remove all of the cobblestones from your ear and prevent them from coming back.
The best way to prevent cobblestones from recurring in the future is to avoid developing them in the first place. The main cause of cobblestones is trauma, so the best way to prevent them is to protect your ears from loud noises and injuries. If you are exposed to loud noises on a regular basis, you should always wear earplugs or earmuffs and if you are using power tools, you should also wear safety goggles.
If you do experience ear trauma, it is very important that you visit an otolaryngologist as soon as possible so that they can remove any cobblestones from your ear. If you wait too long after the trauma, the cobblestones will become attached to the ear drum and they will be much harder to remove.
If you do have otolithic membrane disease then you need to see a physician right away. This condition can lead to hearing loss and even deafness if left untreated.
There are several different ways that otolithic membrane disease can develop. If you have an abnormal membrane growing on your utricle, you may experience hyperactivity in your stapedius muscle. This can cause your stapes to transmit excessive vibrations to your inner ear, leading to hearing loss and tinnitus.
If the otolithic membrane becomes inflamed, it can pull the crista fenestrae shut, which can cause the endolymph to become excessively diluted. This will cause the calcium carbonate in your labyrinth to crystallize, leading to permanent hearing loss. If the otolithic membrane detaches from the crista fenestrae, it can block the opening of the utricle entirely.
An otolithic membrane can also be caused by a tumor. If this is the case, a medical professional must remove the tumor altogether as soon as possible, before it causes any further damage.
As you can see, otolithic membrane disease has many different causes, symptoms and treatments. As such, it is very important that if you think you have this condition, you make an appointment with an otolaryngologist as soon as possible so that he or she can accurately diagnose and treat you as quickly as possible.
If you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, do not wait. Make an appointment with a physician today. It might be nothing, but it could be something serious. Your ears are important. Take care of them.
Sources & references used in this article:
Exposure to occupational dust and changes in pulmonary function among cobblestone paving workers of Jimma, Ethiopia by KA Hassen, MS Ibrahim – Revista Ambiente & Água, 2014 – SciELO Brasil
Pathological findings of pemphigus vulgaris showing giant cobblestone-like conjunctival papillae by H Namba, M Narumi, A Sugano, I Murata… – Case reports in …, 2013 – karger.com
… of the likelihood of reflux developing in patients with recurrent upper respiratory infections, recurrent sinusitis or recurrent otitis seen in ear-nose-throat … by Z Önal, F Çullu-Çokugras, H Isildak… – … Turkish journal of …, 2015 – turkishjournalpediatrics.org
Ear, nose and throat histopathology by L Michaels, HB Hellquist – 2012 – books.google.com
… to be resettled to a work camp in the east, posters were hung up in the ghetto and a truck with loudspeakers crawled down the cobblestone streets. The message … by S Szczebrzeszyn, S Turka, W Kolomyya – search.proquest.com
Tracheobronchopathia Osteochondroplastica—Clinical, Radiological, and Endoscopic Correlation: Case Series and Literature Review by CA García, S Sangiovanni… – … High Impact Case …, 2020 – journals.sagepub.com